The Way of the Hunt

Prompt: Picture: by pygmymuse. Ficlet O'Clock: Bring ye commentfic requests!

So, pygmymuse didn’t understand the concept of hunting in Vardin—more one of treasure hunting or hunting down than animal hunting. I went looking for an outsider to explain it to and Josh was so remarkably convenient.

Liana Mir

Liana Mir reads, writes, and wrangles the muses from her mundane home in the Colorado Rockies and, occasionally, from the other side of the Barrier.

Series Listing

409 S

Hunt the Mists

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Keeping the Balance

459 S

A Handsbreadth Light

461 S

Remembering Stories

489 S



Gone Hunting

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That is Something

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Portrait of a Butterfly

510 S

To Dance with a Dragon

514 W

Crossing the Barrier

517 S

The Cloths of Heaven

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The Way of the Hunt

519 S

Blood of Dragons

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The Caller and the Dragon

Story Within a Story - 508

A Lady in the Dragon's Court

Story Within a Story - 510

How We Write Poetry

Story Within a Story - 517 W

A Letter to Fellow Historical Intern, Whom I Named Huerél

The Way of the Hunt

Just when he thought he found some common ground—at last.

Josh Williams is an outsider to Vardin, kidayet, and so he’s glad to find some common ground at last with someone native. Even if it’s not quite the way he thought.

517 S
Vardin Science Fiction Fantasy
Flash Fiction Short Story

Josh’s study partner spoke English, American English, even though she was a bona fide Vardin native with a clear penchant for French. “I’m a hunter,” Rachel added by way of explanation.

“Oh.” He didn’t really get the connection, but his family had hunted for as long as he could remember. It was nice to find something in common with a member of this mysterious people who were always sizing him up as if deciding whether he were a threat. “So do you use a gun or bow and arrow?” he asked. While Josh preferred firearms himself, his sister had always preferred archery.

Rachel blinked at him, then looked back through the microscope for a moment and jotted down her observation. She was a normal intern for the Vardin Council of Medicine and Science. He was one of the first two outsiders ever allowed a position.

“I’m not sure I understand,” she said after a long moment. “I don’t hunt animals.”

Josh looked up from his own microscope. He thought about that, then finally asked, slowly, “What is a hunter then?”

“It isn’t a perfect translation, I suppose.” She looked thoughtful and shook her head. “Hunting means pursuit of a purpose or for a purpose, changing something, or acquiring something. It is in contrast to householding which is establishing and guarding what already is. Hunters go outside the Barrier when it is necessary.”

Which explained her knowledge of languages. She had perhaps been to America. Josh considered that.”So offense versus defense?”

“Kind of,” she cautioned. “It is pursuit versus guardianship.”

“I thought you were all guardians,” he asked softly, drawing a soft laugh in return.

Rachel shrugged in a classic French shrug, simple and uncaring. “Perhaps you’ll understand with time.” She returned her focus to their exercise.

Josh watched her for a long moment while she pointedly ignored his doing so. He had wondered why he was called plain, outsider, hunter—all such different ways of saying he came from America and didn’t belong here—and he was here in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding.

“I shall enjoy the hunt,” he said in a language that, by her startled expression, she did not misunderstand.


Vardin Science Fiction Fantasy

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